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James E. Ward III

James E. Ward III, 74
BRUNSWICK -- James E. Ward III, loving husband, father and grandfather, gifted teacher and devoted community servant, died on Nov. 11, 2013 at home. He was 74.
Born in Greenville, S.C. to James E. Ward Jr. and Margaret Hobgood Ward, Jim spent his childhood in Nashville, Tenn. where he attended the Peabody Demonstration School, which was affiliated with the George Peabody College for Teachers. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia. He married Mary Lee Parker, whom he met at Vanderbilt, in 1962.
Jim was a faculty member at Bowdoin College for 42 years, serving as professor of mathematics and retiring in 2010. He loved Bowdoin and its students and in addition to being known as an outstanding teacher, served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Director of the Senior Center, and Dean of the College. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and held several offices in the Northeast section of the MAA. He was an avid member of the Bowdoin noon-time basketball association (NBA) for many years and was widely recognized for his red hair and his bicycle, which he rode around campus.
Jim's life was an embodiment of the spirit of the liberal arts and an example to his students and others. He was curious, thoughtful, energetic and deeply engaged in a range of activities and local, national and international causes that were important to him. As a young graduate student, he spent a year teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. during the height of the civil rights movement. Later he taught as a Fulbright scholar on two separate occasions in Africa. He served the people of Brunswick and Midcoast Maine in various capacities, including as a board member for organizations supporting middle-income elderly housing, vocational education, Head Start, regional anti-poverty efforts, behavioral and mental health services for children and adults, healthcare and musical theater. He was also a two-term member, and chair, of the Brunswick School Board. An active member of the First Parish Church in Brunswick, Jim also served on the board of the Bangor Theological Seminary.
Above all, Jim possessed a kind and generous spirit and looked to help others at every turn. He will be missed by family and the many friends and others whose lives he touched.
Jim is survived by his wife, Mary Lee of Brunswick; two sons, James E. Ward IV of Falls Church, Va., and Robert Parker Ward (and his wife Sara), of River Forest, Ill., a daughter, Margaret Ward Scott (and her husband Derek) of Atlanta, Ga.; a brother, Harry Hobgood Ward (and his wife Helen Ann) of Brentwood, Tenn.; and eight grandchildren, Katherine Ward, Ellen Ward, Jack Ward, Timothy Ward, Sadie Ward, Jake Scott, Andrew Scott, William Scott.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday Nov. 29, at the First Parish Church in Brunswick. Condolences and memories can be expressed at www.brackettfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial
donations can be made to:
The Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program (www.mchpp.org)
84 Union Street
Brunswick, ME 04011 or
The First Parish Church
(www.firstparish.net)
9 Cleaveland Street
Brunswick, ME O4011
James E. Ward III

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Nov. 16, 2013
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